Everyone has their opinions on how the NCAA should do its business, and very few of them matter. Mike Slive's opinion matters.
The SEC commissioner spoke at the University of Massachusetts last week and laid out his plan for how his conference, plus its peers in the Big Ten, ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12, want to change college athletics.
- offering full cost-of-attendance scholarships to student-athletes
- meeting the healthy, safety and nutrition needs of all athletes
- allowing athletes that have completed their eligibility to finish their undergraduate degree free of charge
- increasing dialogue between players, coaches, agents and advisers
- a further examination at the 20-hour rule
- more assistance for academically at-risk athletes
- giving student-athletes a place at the NCAA governance table
Those keeping up with the Northwestern union case will note that is much of what the union movement is pushing for. It's what NCAA president Mark Emmert tried to go on ESPN Radio and say his organization is moving towards before he blubbered all over himself.
There's a movement within the NCAA to formally acknowledge the fundamental difference between Kent State and Ohio State, and thus allow the nation's wealthiest schools to govern themselves, so this isn't some pie-in-the-sky talk from Slive.
Anything can happen in the common sense vortex that the NCAA exists in, but expect much of Slive's list to pass sooner rather than later.